Celebrity justice in Palm Beach County: Tiger Woods not the first

Aug 05, 2017
Former NFL player Lawrence Taylor high-fives group player Byron Gardiner, of West Palm Beach, after a fairway shot on the 17th hole during the Rickey Jackson golf tournament at Madison Green Golf Course on June 11, 2005. He pleaded guilty to DUI with damage in June 2017. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)

Tiger Woods isn’t the only star who has faced criminal charges in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast in the past several years.

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Others include:

Lawrence Taylor

Charge: DUI with injury or property damage.

Punishment: One year of probation, nine months’ driver license suspension and six months with an ignition interlock device on his car for six months.

Details: Taylor, a Hall of Fame linebacker who played 13 seasons for the New York Giants, was arrested Sept. 2, 2016 after crashing his 2010 Bentley convertible in the southbound lanes of Florida’s Turnpike. Florida Highway Patrol troopers alleged that he had crashed into two vehicles, including a trooper’s patrol car, while driving under the influence of alcohol. Investigators said at the time that Taylor blew 0.082 percent and 0.084 percent on Breathalyzer tests five hours after the crash. Florida drivers are presumed impaired at 0.08 percent or higher. Taylor pleaded guilty in June.

Robert Van Winkle, the former rapper known as Vanilla Ice (right), leaves the Palm Beach County Courthouse with his attorneys, Bradford Cohen (left) and Joseph Lorusso, on April 2, 2015 after accepting a plea agreement to perform community service and pay restitution in his grand theft case. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post) Photo: Lannis Waters/Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Robert Van Winkle, a.k.a Vanilla Ice

Charge: Grand theft, burglary.

Punishment: Charges were dropped after he did 100 hours of community service and paid $1,100 restitution to the family of Morgan James Wilbur III.

Details: Van Winkle, who rose to mega-stardom in the 1990s with rap hits like “Ice Ice Baby,” was arrested Feb. 18, 2015, nearly two months after police say he took furniture, a pool heater, artwork and other items from a home listed in the name of Morgan James Wilbur III, who court records show died in 2008. The home was near a house he was renovating for his reality TV show on the DIY network. Lantana police said Van Winkle, of Wellington, told them in December he had purchased Wilbur’s home, but he later told them that he was intending to purchase the house but hadn’t finalized the deal. He also at one point told police he found the items on a curb, but a foreman working for Van Winkle said he told him he’d bought the house and asked him to bring the items over to the other house he was renovating. He pleaded no contest in April 2015 in the plea deal that led to his charges being dropped.

Jennifer Capriati hits a backhand return against Chandra Rubin on March 28, 2003 to win the Nasdaq 100 match in Key Biscayne and advance to the finals to play Serena Williams. Prosecutors allowed her to enter a deferred prosecution agreement in January 2014 in a case where she was charged of stalking an ex-boyfriend. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post) Photo: Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Jennifer Capriati

Charges: Battery, stalking.

Punishment: Charges were dropped after she did 30 hours of community service, four hours of anger management classes.

Details: Capriati, a former No. 1 world-ranked tennis player, was arrested after a Valentine’s Day 2013 spat with her ex-boyfriend at a North Palm Beach gym. Police said Capriati punched ex-boyfriend Ivan D. Brannan Jr. Later, she appeared at Brannan’s office and pounded on a locked door. When she couldn’t get in, she began repeatedly calling the office, police said. Prosecutors allowed her to enter a deferred prosecution agreement in January 2014.

Miguel Cabrera (February 2011, St. Lucie County Jail) Photo: Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Miguel Cabrera

Charges: DUI, resisting arrest without violence and having an open container in a vehicle.

Punishment: One year of probation, six months’ driver license suspension, $1,400 fine, DUI school and victim impact panel.

Details:Cabrera, a Detroit Tigers and ex-Miami Marlins star was arrested on DUI and other charges in west Fort Pierce on Feb. 16, 2011 after refusing to take a breath test. A St. Lucie County sheriff’s deputy saw Cabrera’s black Land Rover with a smoking engine on the shoulder of the 30000 block of Okeechobee Road and called for assistance because Cabrera refused to cooperate. The deputy reported the first baseman grabbed a bottle of James Buchanan’s Scotch and started drinking as he was being questioned. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop the resisting arrest and open container charges.

St. Louis manager Tony LaRussa arrives at the Cardinals spring training facility at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter on Feb. 14, 2008. He served a year on probation for DUI. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post) Photo: Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Tony LaRussa

Charge: DUI.

Punishment: One year of probation with early termination after six months, six months’ driver license suspension, 50 hours community service, $678 fine, DUI school.

Details:LaRussa, who was then the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, was arrested in March 2007 on a drunken-driving charge after Jupiter police said they found him asleep inside his running sport-utility vehicle at a stoplight. He gave two breath samples and was determined to have a blood alcohol content of 0.093 percent, Jupiter police said. LaRussa pleaded guilty in November 2007, saying it was in the best interest of all concerned.